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Thanks Supra. Let me narrow down the vista a bit. I listen to mostly Indian Classical, Vocals, Jazz, blues, instrumentals and film music.
And I am talking about a scenario where I am at a fork in the road. I have a PC with a decent power supply and all other internal components. Now I can either go the route of the Caiman or the route of the Xonar Essence. Which one is better for my kind of music?
And no, I am not talking about taking a digital out at all. In any case it is going to be an analog out that is taken out and given to an integrated amplifier.
The card you presently have should be fine as a transport. In conjunction with your earlier threads where you have thought of exploring tubes and more 'euphonic' gear, I would steer you towards NOS DACs like the Audiosector 1543 or the Valab (this I've not heard). They have a slightly more analog sound (less detailed, more rolled off) which may suit your tastes better.